Employee thank yous are an essential tool for building a vibrant culture of employee satisfaction, engagement and happiness.

Research shows that feeling appreciated—which comes from recognition from others—is one of the top three drivers of employee engagement. Kevin Kruse, serial entrepreneur, Forbes contributor, and author of several books including the NY Times bestseller, We: How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement, makes that point in “25 Low-Cost Ways to Reward Employees.”

Employee thank yous

Photo via 100state.com

And if you don’t take the time for employee thank yous? Beverly Kaye, CEO of Career Systems International, tells of potential consequences in a Harvard Business Review video, “Express Gratitude.”

She interviewed a woman who had been working in Hollywood for a studio, and was thrilled to have the job. One week, she worked until 2 a.m. four days in a row and her boss knew it. He never said a word, and she left because she’d had enough. 

“I left for want of a thank you and a hamburger. If he’d said, I know you’ve been [working late]—thank you; have dinner on me—I’d have stayed.”

Six months later she had a great freelance gig consulting with the same boss for a lot more money.

[Tweet “Don’t lose your best employees for want of a ‘thank you’.”]

There are creative, inexpensive ways to let employees know you value and appreciate them.

The same goes for membership organizations. If you want to keep members, thank them for their membership. 100state is a hot new nonprofit in Madison, Wisconsin, focused on improving life in the community and beyond through innovation and collaboration. The “co-working” space has two long tables and assorted work areas, including rooms that can be reserved for meetings. Members from diverse companies apply to join, and pay a fee to share the work areas.

In her blog post, “100thanks: Collaborate, Appreciate, Connect,” Kelly Gockenbach of Stenger Government Relations notes that 100state is expressing its appreciation for members (and trying to attract new ones) with a party to thank members—and giving members an opportunity to thank others—called 100thanks. The event invitation says:

“Celebrate with the people who have helped you out this past year, and connect with those who will in the next. We’re inviting 100 people we’re thankful for, and asking them to do the same, to create a network of gratitude at the event. All good people are welcome :).”

That’s a gala way to say thank you, but simple, affordable thank yous work too. Here are Kruse’s 25 ways to thank employees:

  1. A sincere word of thanks costs nothing and is very effective.
  2. Post a thank you note on their door in their honor.
  3. Throw a pizza party or cake party in their honor.
  4. Create a simple “ABCD” card that is given when someone goes “Above the Call of Duty”.
  5. Write about them in a company-wide email.
  6. Give a long-lunch, extra break, or comp time.
  7. Honor them at the start of the next staff meeting (recognize someone at the start of every staff meeting).
  8. Post a “thank you” sign in the lobby with their name on it.
  9. Give them flowers, a book, or other small gift.
  10. Invite them to a one-on-one lunch.
  11. Give them a card with lottery tickets inside.
  12. Give them a card with movie tickets inside.
  13. Give them a card with a gift certificate.
  14. Have the entire team sign a framed photo or certificate of appreciation.
  15. Arrange for a boss several levels up to stop by to say thanks.
  16. Send a thank you note or gift basket to their spouse.
  17. Arrange to have their car washed.
  18. Arrange to have their home cleaned.
  19. Let them bring their pet to work.
  20. Buy a dozen donuts and announce to the department that they are in the honoree’s office; they should stop by to say hi and get one.
  21. Feature them in the company newsletter.
  22. Pick an unusual or funny object and place it on their desk for a week.
  23. Let them dress casual for a day.
  24. Have entire team honor them with a standing ovation at the start of the next staff meeting.
  25. Offer to swap a task with them for a day or week.

The secret is your thanks doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Show gratitude for your employees’ efforts and they’ll return the thanks with increased engagement, continued hard work and loyalty to your business.  It’s as simple as that!

For more ways to share your workplace gratitude and build a culture of appreciation, download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving.

Download our FREE eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.
gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
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“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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Gift Certificates

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How gThankYou Certificates Work

Step 1

Order Certificates

Choose the gThankYou Certificates you want and order them online or by telephone.

Step 2

Ship directly to your business

Your order is delivered by UPS. Nearly all orders ship the day received. Overnight shipping is available.

Step 3

Distribute to your employees

Personalize your gThankYou Certificates with Recipient and Giver names (optional) and give them to employees.

Step 4

Redeem at any grocery store

Recipients redeem Certificates at major U.S. grocery stores and select the items they want.